Each box contained secrets and surprises, things long forgotten. This one was full of grade school pictures and report cards. That one held love letters from high school. The entire history of his life, boxed away and collecting dust in the attic. Until now.
Going through each box, trying to decide what to keep and what to throw away, brought up successive waves of bittersweet nostalgia. But it couldn’t all make the move to the new house. Some things had to go. And throwing away things was cathartic, a way to clear out some of the dust so that new things could happen.
A few things from each box were saved. A few pictures from childhood. A journal from college. Even a speeding ticket gotten while driving to his first date with her, which had been a source of much laughter between them. But for each thing saved, many more couldn’t be. As painful as it was, it was also necessary.
The last box contained all the memorabilia from their wedding and honeymoon. The program from the ceremony. All the photos that hadn’t been framed. The plane tickets. It had all been carefully and lovingly packed away and then forgotten. As his widow went through it all, she began to cry. This box, at least, would be kept entirely. Some things indeed had to be let go. But not this. This would stay with her forever.